Sex Education In Howard SchoolsTo what shall we attribute...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 06, 1992

Sex Education In Howard Schools

To what shall we attribute the glaring inaccuracy stated in The Sun editorial (Oct. 19) regarding Howard County teen pregnancy and abortion? Incompetent reporting or dishonest motives?

The Sun states that, "right now, Howard teens' only exposure to sex education in the public schools occurs during one-quarter of a semester in the ninth grade."

This assertion is just plain false. Quoting from the June 1992 annualreport to the Board of Education of Howard County, "Family Life and Human Sexuality units are included as regular units of study for all students in grades five through nine." Furthermore, an "elective course in Family Life and Human Sexuality is offered to 11th and 12th grade students." Attachments to the annual report reveal that elementary schools (i.e., fifth grades) spent some 540 to even 720 minutes of class time on the subject; middle schools (grades 6, 7 and 8) spent between 2 to 4 weeks on the subject; and county high schools (ninth grade) spent between 1.5 to 3 weeks, at 5 periods per week, on the subject.

This information was obtained free in the mail after one simple telephone call to the responsible person at the county Department of Education, besides it being common knowledge to countless parents in the county. . . .

Printing errors of this sort, which could have been so easily corrected, make the newspaper lose its credibility.

Mary Tillman

Elkridge

Sensitivity

I am writing this brief letter to express my outrage at the irresponsible, insensitive manner in which your staff reporter, Alan J. Craver, related to the public proceedings under the headline, "Parents convicted for child's truancy," in the Nov. 15 edition of the Baltimore Sun.

The personal information revealed in the story was hurtful and unkind toward one of the students at Burleigh Manor Middle School. How dare a reporter divulge to the public confidential information that simply exacerbates the problem. At the very least, Mr. Craver should use good judgment when reporting about students in our school system. This obviously was not done. . . .

Jim DeGeorge

Ellicott City

The writer is principal of Burleigh Manor Middle School.

Censorship

. . . The new anti-defamation rule adopted by the Howard County Board of Education . . . is a violation of free speech and should be taken to court.

If something like this can exist, then the First Amendment becomes moot. . . . A Minnesota law, not unlike this one, was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court a few months ago . . . Government cannot control, or attempt to control, people's thoughts or their expressions.

Sean Stevenson

Columbia

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